His Holiness the Karmapa Launches New Book, to Embark on Historic Visits to the UK and Canada
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, who is poised to embark on a landmark schedule of teachings and public appearances that will take him to the UK and Canada for the first time, prefaced his overseas tour with the launch of a new book that outlines His Holiness’ vision for a global society that reflects the interdependence of all beings, a fact that is becoming increasingly widely recognized in the secular world.
Ahead of this historic tour, the Karmapa launched Interconnected: Embracing Life in Our Global Society (Simon and Schuster India/Wisdom Publications) at a special ceremony in India last month. In the book, His Holiness underscores the importance of moving beyond a theoretical understanding of our interconnectedness, to begin to actually feel the reality of this connection within our hearts. He seeks to demonstrate how our inherent capacity for empathy can be strengthened to serve as a basis for developing compassion, responsibility, equality, and the valuing of diversity—values consistent with living as interdependent individuals on both a personal and societal level.
“The information age makes us highly aware of our interconnectedness and the Internet allows us to see how much we depend on one another,” the Karmapa said at the book launch in New Delhi. “But we also need to have an Innernet—not just a connection on a material or outer level. We need to be able to feel our connectedness inwardly.” (Karmapa: The Official Website)
The book is one of the outcomes of a month-long dialogue between His Holiness and students from the University of Redlands, California, and reflects the Karmapa’s sincere commitment to open exchange and connection across the boundaries of culture, education, race, and economic status. He argues that despite the polarizing forces that seek to deny the interconnectedness of all sentient beings, global economic integration and information technology are making this connection increasingly evident.
“These days due to development in technology, making connections has become easier for people and because it has become so easier people really don’t value them. They do different things but most of these are meaningless. People don’t value relations they have with other people,” His Holiness observed. “Families don’t have the time to sit and have conversations and instead they prefer to exchange messages or call each other. So what is happening is that people are getting more and more lonely.” (Taiwan News)
Forthcoming public events scheduled for the Karmapa’s historic first visit to the UK later this month include two public teachings on the “Eight Verses for Training the Mind” on 20 May followed by a further public teaching and Chenrezig empowerment on 21 May in London, and a Long Life Empowerment on 27 May in Surrey.
His Holiness will begin his first visit to Canada from the end of May, beginning in Toronto, before traveling to Calgary, and then on to Vancouver in mid-June. Three public events have so far been scheduled for his visit to Vancouver: a Chenrezig empowerment on 18 June, a panel discussion on the environment and social inequality on 21 June, and Akshobhya teachings and empowerment from 23–24 June.
The Karmapa has previously visited the US on two occasions, in 2008 and 2011, and has made three official visits to Europe, the most recent of which took place in 2016. The 16th Gyalwang Karmapa (1924–1981) visited Canada twice, in 1974 and 1977.
The Karmapa is the head of the Karma Kagyu, the largest lineage of the Kagyu, one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, the others being Gelug, Nyingma, and Sakya. The institution of the Karmapa is the oldest tulku lineage in Tibetan Buddhism, predating the Dalai Lama lineage by more than two centuries. Due to a dispute within the Karma Kagyu school over the recognition process, the identity of the 17th Karmapa is a matter of some dispute. The majority of Tibetan Buddhists recognize Ogyen Trinley Dorje as the incarnation of the 16th Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, although an influential minority recognizes Trinley Thaye Dorje. His Holiness was born in 1985 in the Lhathok region of Kham in eastern Tibet and received his initial education at Tsurphu Monastery. In January 2000, at the age of 14, he fled to India and currently resides near to Dharamsala.
The Karmapa’s New Book Advocates Change To Create a Global Society that Embraces our Interdependence (Karmapa: The Official Website)
Interconnected: Embracing Life in Our Global Society (Wisdom Publications)
India has taught me patience: Karmapa (Taiwan News)
The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa’s Dharma Activities in Vancouver (Karma Kagyu Association of Canada)
His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, UK Visit 2017
London Live Webcast (Karmapa: The Official Website)
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